There’s only one side I’m on in any dispute. Even when all sides agree, I’m still on only one side and that’s the side of the Five Principles To A Better Life: no prejudice, discrimination, enslavement, torture and slaughter. For example, if all sides agree to slaughter, then I’m not on any of those sides.
Next, I’m going to talk about the prejudice factor in medical mistakes and how computerizing medical records won’t fix that problem.
Years ago, when filling out an application for anything, we had to check a box that designated our race.
That question is still asked. The only change is that additional races have been added, for example, Native American and Hispanic/Latino. If Jew is a race as Jews claim, then why isn’t Jew listed as a race? Because people would discriminate, according to them, is my theory. Or they simply don’t want anybody to know who they are for more sinister reasons.
Regarding Blacks, the people in the so-called know, will cite that blacks have a propensity for certain diseases/disorders that other races don’t have. Yet, Jews also have propensities for certain diseases/disorders that other races don’t have.
Gays also. So if it’s okay to ask a person’s race on an application, for the health benefit of the patient, the Jew and Gay races should be included.
In a hospital, the doctor doing my husband’s medical history circled Caucasian when he asked Steve the race question, but later when we saw the chart, the doctor had written a question mark next to the circled answer. He in effect was questioning to all those who would later read the chart, Steve’s answer, which in another effect, clouds all judgments made by doctor’s examining him or those in back rooms making assessments about his diagnosis and treatment. In other words, if he’d lie about his race, maybe he’d lie about everything else. I believe it was that same CIA doctor, the one who wrote inappropriately in my chart, yet didn’t want to know my signs and symptoms of mold poisoning, because he already knew Steve’s. Yet, toxic mold poisoning can affect different people differently.
Subjective as my own symptoms are, if I’m hurting somewhere, if I wait for the doctor to tell me, from his/her objective view, I’d never get diagnosed. A doctor can’t feel my pain. If I have the pain and I feel it, then my reporting of it is both subjective, because I feel it, and objective, because I observe it in myself–something that the medical field has yet to accept.
Even when my husband and I were consecutively admitted to the hospital with the same basic complaints of toxic mold poisoning our diagnoses were different, even though made by the same doctor–maybe one for male and one for female and those prejudices are always operative in a medical setting.
Unfortunately, we don’t take into consideration the numerous foreign doctors who train in the USA, who come from backgrounds in countries much different from our own in the USA. Although Americans aren’t all that progressive, we have made more progress in gender ways than many other countries, and students coming from those countries hold onto the prejudices they were raised on.
I’m hoping by now that you can see the multiple prejudices without me always pointing them out to you.
For whatever prejudicial reason, doctors don’t put much stock in a patient’s ability to accurately relay their signs and symptoms. They rely on tests that often times haven’t been redesigned for decades, that don’t tell the doctor anything specific, making the patient’s history and symptoms especially important.
I’ve seen my own medical records and it’s shocking how many mistakes doctor’s make when taking a history or describing the patient’s complaints. They frequently get patients mixed up in their mind–who wouldn’t?
You should have picked up on the word ‘complaint’. The very word trivializes the patient’s signs and symptoms. “Patient complained of_______.” Or, “patient has multiple complaints, or a laundry list of complaints”, which is always bad for the woman, since women are considered by men, and women who are trained like men, to be chronic complainers–naggers comes to mind. If when in the hospital if the patient doesn’t complain, because he/she thinks the doctors and nurses already know the complaints, since they were taken in the initial history, then they write in the chart, “patient has no complaints”, which means the patient is now well.
Go ahead, pick out the prejudices, biases and faulty logic; this is an exercise. When in the hospital, a nurse was testing my memory. She asked if I knew where I was. I replied that I knew I was in the hospital, but didn’t know which one. She laughed and said, “that’s good enough for me. Most of the time I don’t know where I am either”. So my memory was checked off as “ok”. Firstly, if a nurse doesn’t know where she is, then maybe she shouldn’t be in nursing. Secondly, that comment along with her assessment was seen by all the other doctors looking at my chart, which prejudiced the doctor’s view of my medical condition.
Accuracy in the day to day procedures is what’s lacking in the medical field and it’s the inaccuracy that leads to medical mistakes. President Obama, lobbying for computerized medical records is making a mistake, and the ones lobbying him on behalf of the insurance companies that will profit from the large companies that will need to be created, in order to collect all the data, will raise the cost of healthcare even more.
Aside from that, you should be able to discern by now, if you’re thinking logically, that mistakes made at the level of history taking, all the way through to treatment, won’t help the doctors just because they can read it on the computer instead of taking the patient’s word for it.
Further, the risk of altering records becomes a huge problem. It’s not only outside hackers that pose the risk, but anyone with an agenda or a prejudice, including hospitals and insurance companies. Having had experience with dystonia and the countless stories told to me by people with dystonia, going from doctor to doctor until finally, eureka, they were properly diagnosed, I know the pitfalls of one doctor passing to another doctor prejudicial comments that result in misdiagnosis, mistreatment and disrespect. Even when properly diagnosed, if that doctor moves, the patient often times starts the whole prejudicial, misinformed doctor mess all over again.
There’s a lot to be said for a pair of fresh eyes. A new doctor, perhaps this time won’t fall into that prejudicial cycle, because the baggage of years of ‘complaints’ doesn’t accompany the patient with his/her symptoms.
Remember, garbage in, garbage out. Mistakes made at the reporting level and then in the actual typing, or scanning of documents that come up fuzzy will produce mistakes in diagnosis thus treatment. And what happens to the back up system? What happens when in five years the computers are outdated or broken and new computers have difficulty reading and transferring files? I’ve always had a MacIntosh computer, but after six years, the new one couldn’t read all of the old files and the ones it could read lost the format, making them cumbersome to read. And then what happens if the entire computer systems get hit by a deadly virus? All the information would be lost. So, if you back it up with paper, then you’re being redundant.
The benefit I see to computerized files is the elimination of indecipherable handwriting. But medical staff won’t have the time to do all that typing, which leaves that problem unresolved.
The Cleveland Clinic diagnosed me with an STD after I got sick on a trip to Hawaii. Yet, I didn’t have one. It would have been impossible for me to have one. But that part of it doesn’t appear on the front page. It’s buried in the chart, in the doctor’s notes. Every doctor after that hospital admission, who treated me with disdain, only read the front page, not the test results or final impressions. Computerized files won’t change that. Doctor’s still won’t read on…I didn’t know I was diagnosed with an STD until I went to my motor vehicle accident trial. While the jury was out, the lawyers from both sides were sitting around telling prostitute jokes. Don’t even get me started on lawyers. So, why if I had one, didn’t the doctor tell me? And why when I went for my routine pap smear did my gynecologist think I had one, and when I told her I didn’t, she didn’t believe me? Because she only read the first page.
So, every doctor I go to, sees me not only in a prejudicial way, but in an inaccurate way, so much so, that I was called a prostitute by a heart doctor talking to one of my other doctors, who purposely said it loud enough for me to hear–when I was in the hospital for mold poisoning.
Focusing on accuracy from the ground level up, eliminating prejudices from the ground level up will be what prevents medical mistakes. Doctors taught to think everybody’s faking is the greatest medical prejudice that results in the greatest number of mistakes and costs insurance companies huge amounts of money when patients have to go from doctor to doctor, repeating the same tests, until finally a doctor diagnoses them accurately.
Operating on the wrong leg or arm is preventable. Nobody needs computerized medical records to get that right. A sign pinned to the chest of the patient would work as well. Steve got a MRSA infection, because doctors disregarded an index card written by me to give him a prophylactic antibiotic prior to surgery, since after the toxic mold poisoning we both had difficulty in wound healing, and caught every ‘bug’ we were exposed to. Because of the anti-mold lobbyists in Washington and medical schools, creating built in prejudices that prevent medical professionals from calling anything that raises mold liability as a symptom for toxic mold poisoning, no one believed it. And if they did, then they didn’t act on it.
I got an infection where a tooth was extracted, because of the school’s unclean procedures and because they refused to give me a prophylactic antibiotic, that I had taken for decades every time I went to the dentist. What is it that doctor’s want? Proof? If you can’t believe the patient with their own facts, then you certainly can’t believe a doctor with prejudice.
No, to computerized medical records, until the above mentioned problems are examined and solved. Yes, to ethics and accuracy. Computers aren’t the solution, not yet. And, when you make a mistake, report it immediately. Don’t cover it up.